The Navy's newest strike fighter, the F/A-18E Super Hornet flew for the first
time today in St. Louis, Missouri. The first flight was scheduled for
The Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton said, "This marks a significant
milestone in the Super Hornet program and carrier aviation. I am extremely
proud of the dedicated men and women who continue to keep this program on
schedule and on budget."
Admiral Mike Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations said, "The F/A-18E/F Super
Hornet continues to be a great performer. It's underweight, flying ahead of
schedule and working within our budget plan. This plane is a big part of the
future of Naval aviation, and I'm pleased to note how well the program is
progressing. It's destined to be a Fleet Superstar!"
This year, F/A-18C Hornet strike fighters flying off the Aircraft carriers
George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt and America have participated in ongoing
NATO operations over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Presently, Hornet strike fighters are
currently flying off the deployed aircraft carriers USS America in the Arabian
Gulf, and the USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean.
Today's first flight of the Super Hornet took place 12 years since the first
F/A-18 entered operational service in the Navy. The combat-proven Hornet has
built a reputation for being the safest, most versatile, reliable and
maintainable aircraft in the history of the U.S. Naval Aviation. The Super
Hornet was designed specifically to extend the Hornet' s long-term viability of
U.S. aircraft carrier operations. The aircraft is 25 percent larger and offers
longer range, greater endurance, increased weapons and fuel-carrying ability,
improved survivability, and substantial capacity for future growth.